We all have a vision of our ideal selves, a version that is hard-working, successful, inspirational, and fulfilled. You should always strive to achieve that level of greatness in both your professional and personal life, but it is also important to recognize and embrace your flaws. Only then will you truly become a realistic version of your ideal self. Here are some skills you can focus on to achieve greatness and make yourself proud.

  • Be punctual. For some people, this is an easy skill to master. However, if you’re one of those people who is perpetually ten minutes late, this is an important one for you to work on. Punctuality conveys a multi-faceted message to others; being on time shows that you respect other people’s time, that you take your commitments seriously, and that you are prepared and responsible enough to get where you need to be on schedule. Lateness, on the other hand, conveys exactly the opposite.  Even though you may not consciously mean to be disrespectful of others in any way, tardiness demonstrates a negative message. Find ways to make punctuality a top priority.
  • Be consistent. If you are consistent, it translates to others that you are dependable and can safely be relied upon to keep your word. This goes for everything from your adherence to company policies to your overall demeanor when interacting with team members and clients alike. People with whom you do business are more likely to trust you when you are predictable in the most positive way.
  • Be responsive. Whether you are listening to a customer’s complaint or a colleague’s concern, don’t throw on your poker face and make the other person wonder what you are thinking. Respond immediately, sincerely, and respectfully to the matter at hand. Demonstrate your desire to help others by addressing questions and comments promptly.
  • Be respectful no matter what. There is bound to be that rare occasion when someone acts in an unprofessional manner, perhaps by using inappropriate language or targeting you as the cause for dissatisfaction. Don’t worry about whether or not you are right; always act respectful even if you aren’t being shown the same courtesy. Later on, when cooler heads prevail, you will never have to worry about how you acted in the heat of the moment. Levelheadedness and decorum are never criticized.
  • Help others. There are several ways to help others while still running your business, such as performing community service, donating to local organizations, or becoming a mentor to a future business leader. Helping others is a great way to use your own success to give back to your community and its members. If you need assistance getting started, contact your local chamber of commerce, parent-teacher organization, or community college.
  • Be right as much as possible, but be okay when you’re wrong. With enough preparation, research, and knowledge of your industry, you will often be right. Equally as important, however, is accepting when you are wrong. Instead of trying to cover up your error or blame it on someone else, admit your mistake and act quickly to rectify the situation. No one expects you to be perfect, but you are expected to be honest and caring about your desire to satisfy your colleagues and customers.
  • Forgive yourself and others for mistakes. Just as you can’t expect to be perfect, don’t expect it in others. You should certainly expect professionalism and hard work, but forgive yourself and others when things don’t go as planned. Solve any problems that arise, identify how to prevent the same thing from happening again, and move forward.

If you are lucky enough to love what you do for a living, then make the commitment to master these skills. Not only will your business be more likely to thrive, but you will command the respect of those around you.

What qualities do you feel are evidence of greatness? Please share your ideas below!